8 Inspiring Lessons from The Alchemist

I have been re-reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho and this is what got me into blogging again. Until today, I never realized how much that book has inspired me to take a very big leap and believe in what is possible. When I moved to Europe in 2011 to pursue graduate studies in Paris, I sacrificed being away from loved ones and I quit a relatively comfortable job in the Philippines to venture into the unknown. Looking back, all I can say is that following my heart’s desire has been by far the best decision I have made. Everything that happened since then has been truly amazing and unforgettable.

I would like to share some of words of wisdom from the book that continue to inspire me and I am hoping that they will inspire you too in achieving whatever your heart desires.

  1. “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Give all your energy and focus your attention to your aspirations. When you are very clear about what you want, life brings you the right people and the right opportunities at the right moment. Everything will just fall into place.
  2. “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” It is never too late to pursue that skill or hobby. Perhaps you’d like to study a new language? Learn how to swim? Ride a bike? Run a half-marathon? All four things I did in 2013. Just commit yourself to it and do it. Little by little, you will become better at it.
  3. “Learn to recognize omens, and follow them.” Watch out for signs. You know when something is worth fighting for and when you have to let go. When opportunities present themselves, study them. Open the door and look at what’s inside. You don’t have to go in all the time. What if behind the door is the edge of a cliff? Sometimes, it’s okay to close the door and say no.
  4. “Everything in life has its price.” We pay a price for every decision we make and this is inevitable. Always ask yourself the questions, “Why am I doing this?”, “What am I sacrificing?”, “Am I willing to pay this price to achieve what I want in life?” When you have answered them and things are clear, go for it! When you are not sure about the answers. always trust your instincts.
  5. “When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” When we feel like daily life is just a routine, we fail to enjoy life’s simple pleasures because we’re trying to live outside the present. We are always bothered by what happened in the past or we’re too consumed by the possibilities of the future. Just focus on the time that you have now and you will realize how much fun the present is.
  6. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” This is something common to all of us. No one wants to call himself a failure, right? However, making mistakes is part of learning. Mistakes teach us what not to do the next time. Be like a rubber ball! The harder we are pushed to the ground, the more we gain momentum to rebound.
  7. “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” Sometimes, I wonder why I am receiving all these wonderful blessings. What have I done to deserve them? While it is good to know we are grounded, it’s better to respond to these opportunities with much gratitude. The more we practice gratefulness, the more we will reap good things.
  8. “It is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their personal legend is.” Always look back to that moment during your childhood when you were the happiest. I’ve always had fun looking at maps, spinning the globe, memorizing capital cities of countries and the flags of the world. I know my passion is traveling and this is my personal legend. How about you? What makes your heart beat?

This book is full of messages that will allow you to reflect about your mission in life. If you need a dose of inspiration, The Alchemist is a bottomless source of it. I wish you all the best in your journey!

P.S. I am traveling again this year. I’m most excited about the trip to Lapland in March (trying to catch the Northern Lights) and Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon) during the World Cup season.